Until the 4th February 2018, the exhibition “YOU’VE GOT 1234 UNREAD MESSAGES. The Last Generation before the Internet” organised by the Latvian Centre of Contemporary Art takes place at the Big Hall of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1, Riga).
The exhibition displays artworks turned into poetic messages, various testimonies of household nature of the century, like, telephones, TV sets, typewriters and micro-history testimonies about the forms of communication during recent past, in the 70-ies and 80-ies of the last century, during the time before the Internet, text messages and social networks when letters, telegrams and postcards were sent, diaries were written and photos, diapositives and tape-recorder records were stored. This is a diverse set of artefacts of unseen scope which evokes memories of things that used to be everyday standard in recent past for a certain part of the society and opens up exciting stories about the peculiarity of the heritage of the part to the younger generation.
Among the diverse testimonies of household nature of the era also items of the depositories of the Museum of Energy of Latvenergo Group can be seen, like the black-and-white TV sets used in the 1970-ies and 1980-ies, amount which the small size portable TV sets ,,Šilelis” and ,,Elektronika” that could be brought along at tourism trips were particularly popular. The radio broadcast set from the depositories of the Museum of Energy is also displayed at the exhibition and this is the first exhibit addressing visitors. A radio broadcast set was an indispensable item at every office and apartment in Riga during the Soviet ear because it was operated connected to a specially installed socket and broadcasted the only radio program, namely, Latvian Radio 1, on the radio broadcasting network. Offices and factories used it also for announcing any emergency situations. TV set and radio broadcasting set have become “live” testimonies of the past because the experts of the Riga Technical University have started them into operation again...
All this should be seen in order to see again new perspective for oneself about values of art and culture by making the testimonies of the part topical also during the era of the digital reality.
The curators of the exhibition are Kaspars Vanags, Zane Zajančauska (Latvia) and Diana Franssen (the Netherlands).